While K Chandrasekhar Rao is still pursuing the Federal Front idea, an abridged version is also on the table. Not getting carried away by the overtures being made from the Congress camp to regional parties and vice versa to form a UPA 3 in case the NDA does not get the numbers, this envisages the creation of a pressure group of sorts. The intention is to ward away the stress brought upon by the Big Brother attitude of the Congress.
Who are part of this mini-Federal Front? KCR from Telangana, his political ally from Andhra Pradesh, YS Jaganmohan Reddy and HD Kumaraswamy, the chief minister of Karnataka.
No one knows the headache of dealing with the Congress better than HDK who has to deal with the barbs of his coalition partners on a daily basis. Every other day there is a demand camouflaged as a wish by some Congress leader or the other to see Kumaraswamy replaced by Siddaramaiah. The latest to express this desire is MB Patil, the Home minister of Karnataka and a known Siddaramaiah loyalist.
Kumaraswamy is also peeved by the manner in which Congress rebels helped independent candidate Sumalatha in the Mandya contest against his son, Nikhil Gowda. The Congress was eyeing Mandya for itself and was not pleased when the seat was allotted to JD(S) as part of the alliance. With the intelligence department and political feedback predicting a close shave for Nikhil, Kumaraswamy will have reason to be annoyed if there is an upset on 23 May.
The JD(S) believes the Congress central leadership is not able to keep its state unit under leash because Kumaraswamy and Co are seen as a smaller party. Which is why Kumaraswamy believes if he can project himself as part of a bigger south Indian group that controls up to 40 MPs, the Congress at the Centre will be careful not to dismiss the JD(S) as a party of just 4-5 MPs. The idea behind this political unionism is to have a voice with heft to checkmate the Congress.
KCR and the Deve Gowda parivaar have been political friends for long. Before the Karnataka elections, the Telangana CM reportedly offered them help to fight the assembly elections but was not pleased when they tied up with the Congress after the election results.
YSRCP leaders say KCR stood by Jagan when no one else did. He publicly announced his support to the demand for special category status for Andhra Pradesh. It is a given that Jagan has decided that YSRCP and TRS will be a package deal while dealing with any national party that is short of numbers and which is willing to fulfil his pre-condition of special status to Andhra. He has virtually outsourced the job of negotiations with Delhi to KCR.
Categories: Political Pickle